It’s back to business as usual at Chicago’s Merchandise Mart. From June 14-16, however, tens of thousands of architecture and design professionals, facility managers, and dealers and distributors traversed the halls and showrooms in the massive Mart, which spans two entire city blocks on the bank of the Chicago River.
After 42 years, NeoCon has developed into North America’s largest design exposition and conference for commercial interiors. It’s a time when exhibitors such as Herman Miller introduce new products and services for the workplace and discuss concepts behind future product introductions, including the eCoupled technology. Ask anyone from the office furniture industry about NeoCon and the response usually begins with an amenable smile followed by a description that includes a comparison to what the North American International Auto Show means to the North American auto industry.
And always popular with NeoCon exhibitors and attendees are the awards. It was a thrill to be recognized this year for our product designs and manufacturing practices. Our Healthcare division took home two prestigious awards, including the Large Showroom award in the IIDA Showroom and Booth Design Competition and a Best of NeoCon Gold in the Healthcare Furniture category for its new Compass system. In addition, the Flo monitor arm by Herman Miller company Colebrook Bosson Saunders received a Best of NeoCon Silver award in the Technology Support category and the OFDA presented us with the 2010 Manufacturer of the Year Gold award.
NeoCon also is a time for reconnecting with customers and friends, making new acquaintances, and demonstrating the qualities that differentiate us from others in our industry. Next year’s show already is on the calendar for June 13-15, and the increase in attendance this year indicates that it will remain a very popular event for this industry.